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This Hero was Headlined on July 2021.

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Hero Overview

If you're always worried about crushing the ants beneath you... you won't be able to walk.
~ Guts
I'm used to fighting to survive. But what grows worse daily is the pressure not to die. Have I ever before wielded a sword so heavy?
~ Guts
My sword has gotten very dull. However, it's three times as thick and does three times the damage of a normal sword. You better pray you die quickly, or this could be painful.
~ Guts to a group of soldiers.

Guts, famously known as The Black Swordsman, is the main protagonist of the Berserk franchise.

In the series, Guts is a former mercenary and branded wanderer that travels the world in a constant internal struggle between exacting revenge on Griffith and the Godhand and protecting those dear to him.

At one time, driven solely by his will to survive during his days as a mercenary, Guts finds a purpose in life upon joining the Band of the Falcon after being defeated by its leader Griffith, greatly helping in the mercenary band's storied successes during the Hundred-Year War as captain of the band's raiders.

In Japanese, he has been voiced by Nobutoshi Canna and Hiroaki Iwanaga, the latter of which voices him currently. In English, he has been voiced by Marc Diraison in the 1997 anime and the animated movies, Michael Bell in Sword of Berserk, and Kaiji Tang in the 2017 anime.

Biography[]

Younger Years[]

His name is Guts and he earned his name from the manner in which he was found. While still in his mother's womb, his mother was hung. He was born from his mother's corpse. Guts was then found by a woman named Shisu in the after-birth and decay of being born from a corpse. Shisu later on adopted him as her own. By the time he was three years old Shisu had died from the plague. With no role-model or parents to look up to, Guts turned to Shisu's husband, Gambino, for support. Gambino wanted nothing to do with the young boy, so he just put him to work. As a mercenary Guts was useless unless he could fight, so Gambino taught him to fight starting at the age of three. With no small swords around Guts had to fight with a sword much larger than he was. When he grew older, instead of growing into the sword, the sword grew as he grew. By the time he was a full grown adult he was swinging a 6 feet long, 1 1/2' wide sword that was not even sharp.

Story[]

After Gambino was killed at the hands of Guts, he went on from battlefield to battlefield as a mercenary for a few years. He got his big break after killing Bozuso the thirty man killer. He was then forced to join the Band of the Hawk after losing a duel to Griffith the Hawk's commander (his first of only 2 battles that he has ever lost). Guts and Griffith grow to become equals though, and soon enough he became Griffith's right-hand man. Guts keeps his word in remaining with the Hawks but rarely acts like one. Guts likes to be overwhelmed by enemies and rarely anyone has a weapon that can match the broadswords he likes to use in combat. Guts remains forever reckless in each encounter relying on his wits, reflexes and sheer luck to prevail. Griffith always takes Guts nature into account when planning his strategies. Casca dislikes this trait of Guts as normally it leads to Griffith having to bail Guts out of trouble every now and again.

During one confrontation nothing seems to be going right for Guts and the others. A single man seems to be keeping their forces at bay and it gets under Guts' skin. So defiant as ever he goes to see what is going on. Guts finds a very bizarre man known by Rickert as Nosferatu Zodd the immortal. Guts normally fearless is gripped by it for the first time since his youth. Guts faces Zodd and learns he is no mere human at all. Still Guts strove to hold his own. Griffith arrived in learning Guts ran in alone. Together they were able to deal seeming crucial damage to Zodd in severing an arm. Until the beast just put the arm but on. Griffith nearly got killed as Zodd decided to leave. He wanted Guts to grow stronger so he could enjoy a glorious battle later on down the road. Casca rushed to Griffith scolding Guts for letting it happen.

Guts ends up being Casca and Griffith in escorting members of the royal family. He is at unease as Casca still will not talk to him since the Nosferatu Zodd incident. Travesty strikes again with an assassin trying to kill Griffith. Luckily the White Hawk was saved by his Behelit, a luck charm always carried with him. Griffith later speaks with Guts to determine who was plotting is demise. Guts is requested to eliminate Duke Julius, General of the White Dragon Knights. Guts goes stealth for this task and cannot allow anyone to see his face as a commander in the Band of the Hawks. Guts slips in very easy to strike down the general in one blow. Unfortunately the general's son finds them. Guts reacts by instinct to kill the boy. He remains until the kid dies, mortified at what he has done. Guts is quick to flee as an attendant draws at the corner. Several guards are killed in Guts' escape before one manages to hit him with an arrow. Guts finds way into the sewers to rest and past out. He has a nightmare of Zodd and himself becoming a monster after killing the boy.

Guts seeks Griffith to let him know the results of his assignment. Casca stops Guts outside of a noble party. Guts overhears Griffith speaking to Charlotte about what friends mean to him. Guts is left standing in the shadows with Casca. Soon afterwards it is time for battle. Guts moves through the enemy to aid Casca who is confronted by the enemy commander Adon. Guts has no trouble in defeating the man but has to save an ill Casca. Guts is too late in pulling Casca from a cliffside and goes over with her. They survive with Guts taking the brunt of the damage. He tends to Casca until she wakes. Casca tries to kill him in a fit of confusion and is pinned by Guts. Casca calms and reminisces of a time before Guts came. She shares her opinion of Griffith, and jealousy of Guts. Both are alert as enemies are closing in on their location. Guts and Casca attempt to flee only to find Adon has hunted them down with 100 men. Guts keeps Caska from harm and allows an opening for her to escape. Guts remains taking on the mercenaries on his own. None can strike him down or do enough damage to slow the berserker. Guts fights through the entire night causing Adon to flee. Guts takes heavy injuries by the time he is done and sits to rest in a field of 100 dead corpses.

Appearance[]

F*** you. I'm human, the real deal, right down to the bone. Don't mistake me for one of you freaks.
~ Guts to Emperor Ganishka after assuming him to be a apostle.

Depicted as a tall, muscular man, Guts stand at 6'8" (204 cm) with short, though was likely shorter before the berserker armor, being 6'3, has spiked, black hair in a crew cut. He is missing his left forearm and right eye due to an encounter with the God Hand and is covered head-to-toe in scars from a lifetime of battles, with the most notable being a lacerated scar on his nose he got from a sparring match with his abusive father Gambino. Also notable is a large, horizontal scar on his chest, which he received during his encounter with Slan of the God Hand in the qliphoth. After receiving the Berserker Armor, Guts receives a small fringe of white on his hair, presumably due to the stress brought on from wielding the armor. Guts' tendency to wear black clothing while hunting the apostles gained him the nickname "The Black Swordsman". Aside of all this, Guts has a brand as a result of the Eclipse on the back right side of his neck. This brand attracts demons and evil spirits to him at night.

Guts' original design, featured in Berserk: The Prototype, had him wearing an eye patch.

Personality[]

His sense of joy was ground down to nothing by years of bloodshed and tragedy, Guts can only be described as a pessimistic, hardened man who doesn't make friends easily and will kill hundreds and hundreds of foes with little remorse for them. Despite that, Guts still harbors a strong sense of justice and compassion, willing to fight for what's right and scorning Griffith for having betrayed everyone he once loved to become like a god. Although once lacking direction in life, he eventually finds himself understanding his love for combat, also devoting his life to fighting the strong.

After meeting and forming a travelling party called the Black Swordsman Party, Guts softened up considerably. He now has companions that he could care for, his feelings of friendship, companionship, camaraderie and trust restored. However, he still has a desire to defeat Griffith.

Powers and Abilities[]

Abilities[]

Because he is just a normal human, the strength to carry, much less to use and wield a sword of such magnitude with finesse and dexterity makes Guts a grandmaster swordsman of no ordinary level and skill, which shows up in every battle or duels that he partakes, especially when he is engaged with demonic beings. He is also skillful at using many bladed weapons, has knowledge on how the mechanism of complicated firearms work and is also an excellent equestrian. Despite his large frame he is very fast, dexterous and agile for a human of his size and stature which can be seen when he is engaged in combat with multiple enemies.

Guts has incredible strength and physical resistance, even though he is a regular man with no powers. Due to his extensive training since a very young age, his strength and endurance could be classified as superhuman. He is able to swing the large Dragonslayer with incredible speed, even with just one hand. He has also survived impacts that would kill a regular man, even with the protection of armor. He also has an incredible resistance to pain as shown when he cuts off his own arm trying to stop Griffith from raping Casca.

Guts is also able to come up with strategies very quickly and thanks to his experience in battle, he can realize very quickly the best way to fight, like when he used a sword with his feet to impale Zodd. Despite all of this, Guts' resistance to damage is not far away from a normal human's. He can be affected and hurt badly with normal weapons.

Guts' ferocity, fury, aggressiveness, and strength do much to conceal the cunning person within him. He is very perceptive, quick witted, clever, and a skilled strategist, all of it goes hand in hand with his strength. These are the major reasons of why he had survived the countless encounters that he so far had faced. A good example of his tactical prowess is his fight with the apostle Rosine.

During the fight Guts was severely outnumbered by Rosine's insect-like elf pseudoapostles but managed to kill them by lighting himself on fire when they got too close, then quickly dousing himself by slicing open the cocoons that were in the process of turning more children into pseudoapostles. Though not much of a talker, Guts are also shown to possess astute logical reasoning which can be seen in some of his conversations within the manga.

Equipment[]

Manga E1

Guts' signature weapon, the Dragonslayer.

As a youth, Guts lived in a mercenary camp where he was forced to learn to use full sized weapons. This and his natural physical size and strength enabled him to wield larger weapons than most. Throughout the Golden Age arc, he primarily uses a variety of large swords, along with various other weapons when necessary.

In the (chronologically) later arcs, Guts wields the Dragonslayer, a zweihander or two-handed sword about 7' long and 12" wide at its base. It is more than an inch thick at the middle of the blade, giving it incredible weight and power. Described in the manga as more of a table-sized slab of iron than a blade, the Dragonslayer's massive size makes it the ideal weapon for slaying apostles of the God Hand. After killing many apostles, the sword retains properties of the apostles' blood, making it more effective against them.

In addition to his blade, Guts' left forearm is prosthetic with a magnet to help grip weapons, a replacement for the one he lost when Griffith attempted to sacrifice him; it folds back to expose a hidden cannon within. Guts also carries throwing knives, miniature bombs, a dagger, and even a repeating crossbow that can be mounted onto his prosthetic arm. While not innately magical, Guts' sword, the Dragonslayer, was recently shown to have become a cursed blade after absorbing the evil within so many apostles slain by him; enabling it to kill creatures of a non-corporeal nature and even possibly kill, or at least, seriously injure members of the God Hand.

One of Guts' most powerful assets is the Berserker Armor, an ancient, cursed suit of armor that allows the wearer to overcome his physical and mental limitations in combat but at the cost of damaging his already-weakened body. In Guts' case, the armor of strengthens his mind issues (depicted in Guts' case as a quadruped canine creature), to take over and endanger everyone in the vicinity, friend or foe (hence, berserk). The Armor has deadly effects on its user.

After using the armor once, Guts lost some of his sense of taste, became slightly colorblind, and the stress of using it caused a patch of his hair to turn white, among other things. The armor can pierce his flesh from within to reinforce broken bones, enabling him to continue fighting long after his body to the point it would normally be exhausted.

Trivia[]

  • Guts, alongside Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, were the inspirations for the Rabbid named Edge who appeared in the Mario + Rabbids series.

External Links[]

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